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Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2018

by Liam Sweeney; Mariet Westermann; Roger Schonfeld

Jan 28, 2019

In 2014, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to study the representational diversity within art museums through quantitative means. To collect this data, Ithaka S+R developed a survey instrument which was administered to directors of AAMD and AAM member art museums.


Four years later, we have administered a similar instrument to these museum directors in order to gauge the extent to which museum staff have changed demographically in recent years. The instrument was slightly expanded, affording new insights into the composition of art museum employees.


Key Findings



  • Gender remains majority female; museum leadership positions have grown five percentage points more female in last four years.

  • In curatorial roles, management positions are about 15 percentage points more male than non-management roles.

  • Museum staff have become more racially and ethnically diverse over the last four years.

  • Among intellectual leadership positions, education and curatorial departments have grown more diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, while conservation and museum leadership have not changed.